Designing complexity in context: Light through culture

Patrizia Marti, Kees Overbeeke

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    Light through Culture is an international design school which explores the theme of complexity in learning environments. The aim of the school is to weave the newest technologies and the rich existing culture into a new canvas for making and thinking. Learning is meant as a way to (re) incorporate culture and making into thinking. The school has been hosted by the Museum Complex Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Italy. Being immersed in a rich historical-cultural context, the students had to design an experiential path along the Via Francigena, the ancient pilgrimage route developing in the middle age from Canterbury to Rome, passing through England, France, Switzerland and finally Italy. Traveling along the route, the pilgrims stopped at the Santa Maria della Scala, that was an hospital at that time, where they could be given shelter and care on their way. Pilgrims started a long trip toward the enlightenment, the hope, the alleviation. Are contemporary visitors new pilgrims? The design school tried to answer this question exploring history and culture by means of innovative light technologies. Learning developed while building a real path in the Museum underground crossed by the ancient Via Francigena, opening the results of the design activity to the experience of real visitors and reflecting on how people feel, perceive and make sense of their experience. Learning confronts with the whole complexity of a real environment: the results of the school were not only texts but also physical, virtual and mixed new realities consisting of new ways of presenting and adding new dimensionalities to the existing world.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFacing Complexity, CHItaly-2011 - Proceedings of the 9th ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Print)9781450308762
    Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2011
    Event9th ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Facing Complexity (CHItaly-2011) - Alghero, Italy
    Duration: 13 Sep 201116 Sep 2011
    Conference number: 9


    Conference9th ACM SIGCHI Italian Chapter International Conference on Computer-Human Interaction: Facing Complexity (CHItaly-2011)
    Abbreviated titleCHItaly 2011


    • complexity
    • design
    • designing in context
    • interaction design
    • learning
    • light technology
    • phenomenology

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